This Mentored Patient-Oriented Career Development Award (K23), in response to PA-09-043, is designed to provide the candidate, Dr. Patricia van den Berg, with the training and experience necessary to establish herself as an independent patient-oriented researcher of adolescent obesity and unhealthy weight control attitudes and behaviors and their risk factors and outcomes. The prevalence of obesity among adolescents is high and increasing, and its public health effects are well-known. This is especially the case with Hispanic adolescents, who have a higher prevalence of obesity and potentially greater susceptibility to the diabetes-related outcomes of obesity. Unhealthy weight control attitudes and behaviors, such as body dissatisfaction and extreme dieting, are also highly prevalent among Hispanic and non-Hispanic white adolescent girls, and some researchers have posited that they may constitute risk factors for obesity among adolescents. For instance, it is possible that among adolescents, restrictive dieting leads to overeating and binge eating, resulting in greater weight gain over time. Research in this area is needed to develop improved obesity and disordered eating prevention interventions. Candidate: Dr. van den Berg is an Assistant Professor and BIRCWH Scholar in the Department of Obstetrics &Gynecology at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Dr. van den Berg's long-term career goal is to contribute to the prevention of obesity and disordered eating among adolescents. A coordinated program of coursework, mentoring by successful patient-oriented researchers, and research experience is proposed to address the candidate's identified need for training in school-based research, qualitative research, research with Hispanic participants, longitudinal data analysis and the design and evaluation of effective obesity prevention programs. Mentoring will be provided by Dr. Tom Baranowski of the Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine and Dr. Abbey Berenson and Dr. Susan Weller of UTMB. Environment: UTMB provides an ideal environment for the training and research proposed, supported by outstanding programs to assist new investigators in transitioning to independence. Research: The proposed research focuses on the relationships among unhealthy weight control behaviors and attitudes, obesity, obesity-related behaviors such as nutrition and physical activity, and """"""""common risk factors"""""""" for these variables. Because of their high prevalence of obesity and/or unhealthy weight control attitudes and behaviors, Hispanic and non-Hispanic white adolescent girls are targeted. Three studies are proposed:
Aim 1 is a qualitative interview study of overweight and lean, Hispanic and non-Hispanic white adolescent girls designed to uncover novel potential risk factors for obesity and unhealthy weight control attitudes and behaviors;
Aim 2 is a 1-year longitudinal school-based survey study of 400 Hispanic and non-Hispanic white adolescent girls to test the longitudinal association between potential risk factors and obesity and unhealthy weight control attitudes and behaviors;
and Aim 3 is the development and pilot testing of a combined obesity and disordered eating prevention program that targets the risk factors identified in Aims 1 and 2.

Public Health Relevance

Because both obesity and the use of unhealthy weight control attitudes and behaviors, such as excessive dieting and poor body image, are high among adolescents, there is a need to train new investigators in areas related to both of these problems. Further, studies in this area with adolescent girls from diverse backgrounds are limited. Advancing knowledge in this area will lead to improved obesity and disordered eating prevention interventions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
Program Officer
Haverkos, Lynne
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University of Texas Medical Br Galveston
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Temple, Jeff R; Le, Vi Donna; van den Berg, Patricia et al. (2014) Brief report: Teen sexting and psychosocial health. J Adolesc 37:33-6
Chondronikola, Maria; Sidossis, Labros S; Richardson, Lisa M et al. (2013) Impact of obesity on body image dissatisfaction and social integration difficulty in adolescent and young adult burn injury survivors. J Burn Care Res 34:102-8
Haines, Jess; Hannan, Peter J; van den Berg, Patricia et al. (2013) Weight-related teasing from adolescence to young adulthood: longitudinal and secular trends between 1999 and 2010. Obesity (Silver Spring) 21:E428-34
Temple, Jeff R; Paul, Jonathan A; van den Berg, Patricia et al. (2012) Teen sexting and its association with sexual behaviors. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 166:828-33
Temple, Jeff R; van den Berg, Patricia; Thomas, John F et al. (2011) Teen dating violence and substance use following a natural disaster: does evacuation status matter? Am J Disaster Med 6:201-6
Larson, Nicole; Neumark-Sztainer, Dianne; Story, Mary et al. (2011) Identifying correlates of young adults' weight behavior: survey development. Am J Health Behav 35:712-25
Berenson, Abbey B; van den Berg, Patricia; Williams, Karen J et al. (2011) Effect of injectable and oral contraceptives on glucose and insulin levels. Obstet Gynecol 117:41-7
Mond, Jonathan; van den Berg, Patricia; Boutelle, Kerri et al. (2011) Obesity, body dissatisfaction, and emotional well-being in early and late adolescence: findings from the project EAT study. J Adolesc Health 48:373-8
van den Berg, Patricia A; Keery, Helene; Eisenberg, Marla et al. (2010) Maternal and adolescent report of mothers' weight-related concerns and behaviors: longitudinal associations with adolescent body dissatisfaction and weight control practices. J Pediatr Psychol 35:1093-102
van den Berg, Patricia A; Mond, Jonathan; Eisenberg, Marla et al. (2010) The link between body dissatisfaction and self-esteem in adolescents: similarities across gender, age, weight status, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. J Adolesc Health 47:290-6

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